Baltimore’s restaurant gem: The Prime Rib [classic article]

Do you ever watch films of Audrey Hepburn or Frank Sinatra, or thumbed through 1960’s era Playboys, thinking, “Ah. If only these times could be like those times, when things were so swanky, life would be so different. I would be so different.” Certainly, Mad Men has brought the concept to our collective consciousness. Well, the original Prime Rib, located in Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood, has been a gem of the city for over 40 years. Very little has changed over that time, other than the required jacket/tie dress code is gone. Jackets are still requested for Saturday night.

The atmosphere is heightened by the glossy ebony-black walls with original art, as well as a sophisticated bar area (where you can also order food), and a live jazz combo playing. Everything that you expect with the finest dining will be satisfied here.

Start off at the bar, where any classic cocktail can be made, as well as house specialties. Their most famous house cocktail is The Piney, made from Russian Red Seal vodka infused with fresh pineapple. It’s so cool and crisp, one could drink a bunch of them. They are vodka, though…

Many publications have ranked their prime rib as one of the very best in the US, for good reason. The quality of meat that they get, with its gentle handling and subtle seasoning, renders it tender with pure beef taste, no other components. They know how to cook it so every inch is delectible. It’s getting harder and harder to find prime rib on the bone these days, which adds even more flavor.

But man and woman cannot live by meat alone! One of their excellent appetizers are a special offering of-menu: oysters on the half-shell served with crab meat, cheese. The oysters are plump and the crab is some of the biggest, sweetest lumps you’ll ever set a fork to. The recipe itself is simple, so the seaood flavor shines.

The same goes with lobster stuffed wtih crabmeat: the best food doesn’t need much gussying up. It’s the same concept with beautiful women — they can wear Armani and don’t have to have frills and tags like Minnie Pearl.

A hidden sleeper item is the tomato feta salad with sweet onions. You only think you’ve had salads like this before. The feta they use is so creamy and rich, it takes the classic Greek mixture to a whole other level.

While they have all kinds of potato dishes, including their “Greenberg” potatoes — the original potato skins — try the potatoes gratin. They’re made with super sharp cheddar cheese that adds a great counterpoint to richer entrees.

Need some help picking out dessert? Go for the pecan pie. The pecans are nicely toasted, so the topping has a well-developed nut flavor, instead of just cold texture.

The Prime Rib always different value-added specials going on, so check out their website.

1101 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 539-1804
FAX (410) 837-0244

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